Saturday, December 1, 2012

Kim Strickland--Down at the Golden Coin blog tour

It is a Pleasure to have Kim Strickland here with us today!!!!!!

Down at the Golden Coin by Kim Strickland!

How would your life change if you met your Messiah at the laundromat?
During the horrible recession, DOWN AT THE GOLDEN COIN’s main character, former airline pilot Annie Mullard, feels she has sunk to new low when she is forced to go to a run-down laundromat, The Golden Coin, after her washing machine breaks, but it’s here she meets a messiah named Violet. Even though she can read minds, send Annie into past lives and levitate Tide with Bleach Alternative, Violet isn’t anyone’s idea of a messiah. But Violet is equipped with the wisdom, love and humor to help Annie find a way to a more authentic life, one in which Annie’s free to create her own reality and where money is not the key to happiness.

Kim will be touring Nov.19th thru Dec 3rd!

Guest Post:

What do the books, Être the Cow, Cub Blood and Toilet: The Novel have in common? All three books have come to my attention through some incredibly original marketing techniques. What else do they have in common? I haven't purchased or read any of them.

Okay, now that you suspect I'm an unfair person because I ask obscure questions I don't honestly expect you to know the answer to, I'm going to ask you to please overlook my first unfair question so that I may ask you another one: "What sells books?" I know! Totally unfair. Because I know if you had the answer to that last one, you wouldn't be here reading my bloggerly musings, you'd be sitting on your own private island counting up your money again.

And please don't get me wrong, I LOVE these authors for their originality. I admire their hutzpah. I am not in any way trying to pick on them or poke fun, because I, like them, am trying to sell books, to get the word out. And it's really, really hard.

The author (and I'm just assuming it was the authorI couldnt find a way to contact him via Google) of Cub Blood, Bud Watts, advertised his book on an overpass above Addison Street in Chicago, where hundreds, if not thousands, of Cubs fans (myself included!) would see it when they were stuck in traffic on their way home from a game. A brilliant bit of marketing, if you ask me, but considering it's the only place I've ever heard mention of Cub Blood (and that, as of this writing, its Amazon ranking, for whatever it's worth, was 1,738,568) I wonder if that expensive promotional investment paid off. 

The author of Être the Cow, Sean Kenniff, Tweeted and Tweeted about Être the Cow and its terrific reviews so often, for so many weeks, I was tempted to buy it. I really, really was. But I didn't.

When I was at Book Expo America in 2004, the talk of the event was the guy walking around McCormick Place with the toilet seat around his neck. In fact, if you Google it today, it's still the talk, but have you heard of his book, Toilet: The Novel?

I think it's probably safe to say that word of mouth sells books. The trick is, generating word of mouth. I admire these writers for their unconventional and creative self-marketing efforts. My personal marketing idea? I've often thought it would be clever to hire five or six actors to spend a day wandering around my hometown, Chicago, blatantly reading my latest book. Imagine walking into a coffee shop or onto an El platform and seeing all these people reading the same book! If you were a reader, you'd take notice, but the question is, after I'd spent all that time and money, would you buy my book?

Getting attention from readers is one thing, but the more important thing is getting readers to actually read your book. Readers themselves are what generate the buzz when they tell their friends about it or maybe write a nice review online. So, unless someone invents a word-of-mouth-book-buzz generator (Ill pay any price!) Ill be slogging it out in the trenches with my more conventional book marketing campaign. And at least at the end of this day, I can say, hopefully, I generated a little word of mouth for Être the Cow, Cub Blood and Toilet: The Novel.

Interview with Kim:

Tell us about yourself?

 I live in Chicago with my husband and three teenage children, two cats and one dog. I maintain a blog,, and my day job is flying jets for a major airline. I enjoy running, yoga, long walks on the beach—wait, this is TMI, right?

What inspired you to write this book and How did the Hero/heroine come about?

It was right before the market crash of 2008 when I started Down at the Golden Coin. In the airline industry, we have the pleasure of being the first to get hit by economic downturns and then to be the very last to recover from them. I was, as so many in our industry, frustrated and worried about my future, especially financially. Why had I worked so very hard for so many years to establish myself in a good career, only to watch it all rapidly start to disappear before my eyes? That was the crux of it. I wanted to ask somebody, God or the Universe, why? And I think it’s a question that resonates, because so many people, in the airline industry and a lot of other industries for that matter, feel exactly the same way right now.
Violet came about because I believe we can learn so much from young people, especially our children, and I think we can learn so much from each other when we’re open to it, even from people we wouldn’t normally think of as potential teachers.

What are you working on now?

 Mostly I’m just promoting Down at the Golden Coin. Marketing and PR take up a ton of time. I do have a couple of other writing projects in the works—a half-finished screenplay and the beginnings of a third novel, the subject matter of which, however, is still a secret. (The last time I spilled what I was writing next, I never finished the book. It’s made me superstitious.)

What books have most influenced your life?

So many! A Prayer for Owen Meany. The Cider House Rules. (I love John Irving, because his books are never, ever predictable.) Conversations with God, The Corrections, I Know This Much is True, The Poisonwood Bible, anything by Richard Bach, ditto Malcolm Gladwell, and of course, The Secret.

What kind of research do you have to do for your books?
For Down at the Golden Coin, I did spend an afternoon at a neighborhood laundromat. It’s where I saw most of the signs (and by that I mean the actual signs on the walls, not, you know “signs”) featured in the book and the Family Pride washing machines and rusty dryers, etc. The laundromat I found was a really depressing and dumpy place. I also had to do a lot of reading up on New Age and Body, Mind, Spirit philosophy.
For my first novel, Wish Club, I read a ton of books on witchcraft and spell casting. Wicca is such a beautiful and interesting religion and I wanted to respect it. I mean, nobody wants to have a group of witches mad at them, right?

Excerpt from her book:

I smash a load of jeans down into a washing machine at the Golden Coin Wash and Spin and vow I will not burst into tears. I take a deep breath and instead of crying, gently close the lid.
Thankfully, nobody else is in here. Then again, it’s this same desolation that makes it creepy to be here at all, despite the morning sun blazing through the front windows, which only seems to accentuate how run down this place is.
My hands grip the edge of my machine as it fills with water. I close my eyes. I’m trying hard not to feel like a lunatic, almost shedding tears over a washing machine.
Please God, I think, please just let things get better. It feels like I’m asking for a miracle.
“You praying? Worshipping the Whirlpool?”
I nearly screw myself into the ceiling at the sound of her voice. How she got in here, so fast, without me hearing, I don’t know. Maybe the rush of water filling up my four machines drowned out the sound of her arrival, but the door has one of those little bells that jingle when you walk through. When I came in ten minutes ago, I’d thought it was silly. Who were they trying to alert? The dryers? There’s no attendant here. At the Golden Coin Wash and Spin, you’re on your own.
She looks to be in her early twenties and, from what I know, totally goth. Or maybe emo. Probably emo. Goth is out. Actually, both goth and emo are out. I think. I’m not sure. I have three children, two of them teenagers, but they can’t be bothered to explain these things to me anymore.
Short black hair falls long over her right eye and it has electric blue streaks down the front. She’s a tiny little thing in a slightly too large white tank top. A wife-beater-T is what we used to call them. A black bra strap has slipped out fashionably on one side. Even though it’s ninety-five humid degrees outside, and not much better, if not worse, in here, she’s wearing pencil thin black jeans and bulky Doc Martens. Her nose has a small piercing, one round diamond in one nostril. It’s tasteful, like something I might have done in my twenties, if I’d thought any of the airlines I was just dying to work for at the time would have allowed it.
And she’s already measuring out her detergent, which brings me to another thing I find strange about her. This place is pretty big and all the rest of the machines are empty and she’s chosen the one right next to mine.
Her Angelina lips are pursed in concentration as she stares at the measuring cup, holding it up at eye level. She pours a little detergent back into the bottle: Trader Joe’s Next to Godliness, which has me guiltily looking at my Tide with Bleach Alternative. I watch her. It’s like she’s performing a science experiment, the way she’s eyeing the little plastic cup.
I’m grateful for the distraction of her though, and to not be alone in here anymore. She catches me watching her and smiles before looking down to pour the detergent over her clothes.
I like her, I decide. The way she smiled. It was nice. “I was praying,” I say. She gives me another smile, which I take for encouragement. “But I don’t think my prayer is getting answered.” I pause for what I hope is comedic effect. “Because I’m still here.”
My Review:
Annie has hit rock bottom in her life and stuggles to make it daily, when she meets her Messiah Violet, one day at the Golden coin laundry mat.This book is written as an inspriation to everyone who is or has struggled in this life and looking for their own Messiah. You never know when he or she may turn up. As Violet , a goth girl with blue streaks in her hair showed up to help Annie. Read this book and be inspired!!!

Author Bio:

Kim Strickland lives in Chicago with her husband, three children, two cats and one dog. She also blogs as A City Mom at ChicagoNow. Down at the Golden Coin is her second novel. When she's not being a mom or a writer, she flies jets for a major airline, which means, every once in a while, she gets to eat an entire meal sitting down.  

Connect with Kim!

Buy the Book!



1 comment:

  1. I really liked your blog. Keep up the good work. I also wanted to let you know about my coin collecting blog. You can check it out at


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